Perfect for busy families, the Instant Pot is an excellent choice for those wishing to prepare healthy, yet delicious meals. One of the most popular brands of multi-cookers, its versatility has earned it a cult following over the past couple of years. Not only does it speed up cooking process by up to 10x, but it also uses ~70% less energy.
Fitted with smart technology, one can easily prepare food with the press of a button. Marketed as a seven-in-one, it is capable of performing multiple functions, such as the ability to cook rice, and make yogurt.
The History of the Instant Pot
Debuted in 2010, the Instant Pot was put together after Robert Wang, a former software engineer, found it difficult to prepare healthy meals for his two young children at home. Determined to come up with a solution, he recruited a few partners, with whom he spent the next 18 months working on a prototype of what would eventually become the Instant Pot.
After countless hours of hard work and over $300,000 in investments, they released the first generation of the Instant Pot in 2010. Like most new products however, it took a while for the public to warm up to its existence. With the said, the multi-cooker eventually proved to be a major success; by 2012, the Ontario-based company had become profitable with increased revenue every year.
The Rise of the Instant Pot
In 2016, Amazon also held a promotion, which resulted in over 215,000 units being sold in a single day. Along with word-of-mouth, the Instant Pot quickly developed a cult following. Flash forward to 2018, and the appliance remains to be one of the the best-selling kitchen products on Amazon.
The Different Types of Instant Pot
As you can probably expect from such a popular product, a variety of models are available- each of which are slightly different from one another.
At the time of this writing, there are five main versions, these include the Lux, Smart, Duo, Duo Plus, and Ultra (in order of release). Unsurprisingly, the newer generations tend to have fancier additions compared to their older counterparts. Let’s take a brief look at the different models below.
Instant Pot Lux: The oldest generation still on the available; comes with six different functions
Instant Pot Duo: The most successful model; does everything that the Lux can do, plus the ability to make yogurt
Instant Pot Duo Plus: A refresh of the Duo; comes with a new “sterilize” function
Instant Pot Smart: Comes with an app that can be connected to the cooker via Bluetooth
Instant Pot Ultra: One of the newest additions to the family, it features a new “Ultra” mode, which is similar to its predecessors’ manual and custom modes
On this page, we’ll be focusing our discussion on the Instant Pot Ultra. Is it worth it?
The Instant Pot Ultra
Released in 2017, the Instant Pot Ultra not only comes with a new interface, but it also boasts a new “Ultra” setting (it’s greatest highlight) on the control panel, as mentioned above. Similar to manual and custom mode, it offers you the ability to choose the cooking pressure and time.
What else is new on the Instant Pot Ultra?
– Unlike its predecessors, its modern interface utilizes a spin dial instead of buttons
– It has the ability to cook in sous-vide mode
– Comes with a process indicator which displays the process of the cooking
– Can be adjusted to your altitude
Are there any drawbacks?
– As the newest version, its price tag is noticeably higher than the other Instant Pot models
– There will be learning curve, especially if you’re used to the previous models
– Only comes in one size, 6 quart
Is the Instant Pot Ultra Worth It?
So, is it worth it? That depends. If you already own an earlier model, you probably don’t need the upgrade, per se. With that said, if you don’t mind its price tag, and are looking to purchase a newer version, its new functions (e.g. sous-vide mode, etc.) does make it an attractive product.
On Amazon, the Instant Pot Ultra can be purchased for $129.99+, depending on the size.